Sports Illustrated senior writer Jack McCallum, whose story on sports movies appears in the Feb. 6, 2001 issue of the magazine, offers up some lesser-known sports films for your consideration.
These fly under the sports-movie radar screen, but try to beat the bushes and find them. In chronological order:
|Million Dollar Legs (1932)|
A lunatic musical satire of the '32 Olympics in Los Angeles; all you have to know is that W.C. Fields plays the president of Klopstokia.
|Go, Man, Go! (1954)|
It's so widely (and deservedly) praised that no one points out that the stylized boxing scenes are utterly
|Three Moves to Freedom (1960)|
A Nazi prisoner keeps from being brainwashed by memorizing chess moves in this German film. Fischer über alles!
|This Sporting Life (1963)|
After getting clobbered in a brutal rugby game, Richard Harris (as the brute Frank Machin) does a better swollen mouth than Brando.
|The Games (1970)|
Forget Ryan O'Neal in The Champ; he and Charles Aznavour (better known as a singer) are great in this tale of marathoners at the '60 Olympics.
|Drive, He Said (1971)|
This generally bad hoops flick was the directorial debut of Lakers-lovin' Jack Nicholson, who did a good job with the sports action.
|Inside Moves (1980)|
The NBA Golden State Warriors are in this dark drama directed by Richard Donner that includes credible jump shooting by David (St. Elsewhere) Morse.
|Fever Pitch (1997)|
This adapation of Nick (High Fidelity) Hornby's book about his obsession with an English soccer team deserved a much wider audience.
Bud Greenspan's foray into docu-drama isn't entirely successful, but the great distance runner Haile Gebrselassie's story should be told.